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Newsletter - Jean Monnet Chair in Parliamentary Democracy and European Integration

The fourth edition of the Jean Monnet Chair in Parliamentary Democracy and European Integration newsletter

This is the fourth edition of our termly newsletter.


We are delighted to welcome Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian’s Brussels correspondent, to our advisory panel. Jennifer has already contributed to our event on the protection of the rule of law in the EU (see below) and we hope to welcome her to forthcoming events as a speaker.

Recent events

This academic year’s first event took place on 29 September 2021. It was an online roundtable on the recent German federal elections and was very well attended. The speakers were Professor Andreas Busch (University of Göttingen), Ms Annette Dittert (ARD) and Dr Isabelle Hertner (King’s College, London). It was very well attended. View the video recording of the German federal elections roundtable event

The second event of this academic year was an online roundtable entitled 'Above political contestation? The protection of the rule of law in the EU'. The event was chaired by Jennifer Rankin (Brussels correspondent of The Guardian who also joins the advisory panel of the Jean Monnet Chair) and the speakers were Professor Laurent Pech (Middlesex), Anna Wójcik (German Marshall Fund and Polish Academy of Sciences), and former MEP Judith Sargentini. It too was very well attended, with bookings exceeding 100. View the video recording of the EU law roundtable event.

Forthcoming events

Four new events have been planned for the coming (spring) term. The first is the annual Saturday School on parliamentary democracy and European integration for A-level Politics and Government teachers and their pupils. It will be held online on 15 January 2022.  The speakers will be Dr D. G. Dimitrakopoulos (Jean Monnet Chair at Birkbeck) and Mr Matthew Bevington (doctoral student in Politics at Birkbeck). Bookings are open, free and required.   

The second is a panel discussion on Europe and Afghanistan organised by Dr Jasmine Bhatia (Birkbeck) in association with Dr D. G. Dimitrakopoulos. It will take place on 20 January 2022 (date TBC) and will be held online. Speakers include Andreas von Brandt (the EU’s Ambassador to Afghanistan) and Professor Michael Kaeding (University of Duisburg and Jean Monnet Chair ad personam). Further details and the link for the (free but required) registration will be available shortly through our website and Twitter account.

The third is the annual Jean Monnet lecture. We are delighted to announce that this year it will be delivered by one of the most eminent contemporary philosophers, namely Professor Philippe Van Parijs (Hoover Chair, Université Catholique de Louvain-la-NeuveOxfordEUI) on 16 February 2022. Its title is 'Europe: a utopian project whose inevitable destiny is failure?'.  We are minded to hold this as a face-to-face event but this will be determined by evolution of the pandemic.  Further details and the link for (the free but required) registration will be available shortly through our website and Twitter account.

Finally, we are also delighted to announce that Professor Luuk van Middelaar (Leiden University), one of the leading commentators on the EU and speechwriter for Herman van Rompuy when the latter was President of the European Council, has agreed to present his new book (Pandemonium: Saving Europe, Agenda Publishing, 2021) at a special event on 21 April 2022. He will then respond to comments from Professor Hussein Kassim (UEA and advisory panel member of this Jean Monnet Chair), Jennifer Rankin (The Guardian’s Brussels correspondent and also advisory panel member of this Jean Monnet Chair) and Mr Peter Wagner (senior official of the European Commission) in what is aimed to be a discussion of the EU’s response to the pandemic. We are minded to hold this as a hybrid event. More details will be announced in spring via the next edition of our newsletter as well as through our website and Twitter account.   

Further events are being planned for the first half of the coming calendar year. You can hear about them by following the Jean Monnet Chair (@JMCatBirkbeck) or its holder (@DGDimitrakop) on Twitter, or .


A total of 55 students have registered to attend the three Jean Monnet modules (two, namely Comparative European Politics: Europeanisation, Contestation, IntegrationThe European Union Polity at the undergraduate level, and one, The European Union: Integration, Politics and Policy at the postgraduate level) this academic year. Teaching on the first of these modules ends on 17 December 2021 with students reporting very high rates of satisfaction with our provision.   


Dr D. G. Dimitrakopoulos has continued his work on parliamentary oversight of executive rule-making in the EU. In addition, he has co-authored a chapter on the Greek Parliament’s handling of EU affairs with Professor Argyris Passas (Panteion University, Athens) that was published earlier this month in the collective volume that the latter edited to mark the 40th anniversary of Greece’s accession to the EC/EU (in Greek). Dr Dimitrakopoulos’s chapter on the EU’s internal policies is about to be published in the sixth edition of the textbook entitled The European Union: How does it work? by Oxford University Press.   

Talking Europe vlog

Two new episodes have been produced during the past term: one on the EU and sugar and one on Wallonia and EU trade agreements. They remain available on YouTube

Social media

Follow us on Twitter: @JMCatBirkbeck and @DGDimitrakop 

You can always reach us via email: or    

The next edition of our newsletter will be published in late March 2022. 

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